On Saturday the main match to end the 2012 Craven Week is between the Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions, a match in which it is expected that the Blue Bulls will have just too much firepower.
The front row battle between the Blue Bulls trio of Pierre Schoeman (Affies), François Steyn (Affies) and Dayan van der Westhuizen (Centurion) and the Golden Lions' trio of Dylan Smith (KES), Malcolm Marx (KES) and Clinton Theron (Florida) will be something out of this world.
The team that wins this battle will go a far way in securing a win for their team. The Golden Lion’s front row is more mobile than that of the Blue Bulls, but we will have to see who is the better at winning scrums.
Two very good locks will be going at each other hoping to secure the line-out’s for their teams - Janse van Rensburg (Affies) of the Blue Bulls and Stefan Vermeulen (Monument) of the Golden Lions. The Golden Lions lock has proven to be more physical than the Blue Bulls' lock during the week. It will cost a great effort by the Blue Bulls locks to keep the Golden Lions lock out of the game.
Loose forwards Thabo Mabuza (Centurion) and Steven Meiring (Affies) of the Blue Bulls and Chris Massyn (Monument) of the Golden Lions have caught the eye during the week. Chris Massyn, who has been the most physical No.7 during the week, will have his hands full countering the pace of Thabo Mabuza at breakdown time.
If we look at the backline the Blue Bulls will have too much class. Players like scrumhalf Justin Phillips (Waterkloof), inside centre Rohan Jansen van Rensburg (Waterkloof), outside centre Jurie Linde (Affies), right wing Marcus Kleinbooi (Affies) and fullback Jaco Hayward (Centurion) have been playing excellent rugby at Craven Week and if they bring the same game to the park on Saturday there will be no stopping the Blue Bulls.
The only player standing in the way of the dangerous Blue Bulls backline is flyhalf Jako van der Walt (Monument). If he manages to play a 100% traditional Blue Bulls game he may just allow his forwards into the game and keep the ball away from the dangerous Blue Bulls backline.
The Golden Lions can win on Saturday only if the front row stands up to the Blue Bulls, the locks remain very physical and Jako van der Walt takes total control. If they don't do this it will become a long day at the office and the Blue Bulls backs will dominate.
Looking forward to a great game of rugby.
By Hennie Otto